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U-lock vs water bottle

This topic contains 18 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Mick 1 yr, 2 mos.

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StuInMcCandless

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Jun 22 2013 at 1:52pm #

OK, so I haz the stupids.

I bolted the bottle cage in place, and then bought a U-lock which I can attach most anywhere, and in the triangle somewhere seemed to be the logical place to do so. Problem is, I don’t see how the lock and the bottle can peaceably co-exist within the triangle, and still get either one out with little trouble, and not scrape my leg at every pedal turn.

Prior to this, I’ve been bungee-cording anything I needed to the rear rack, but that seems unworkable. With five jillion bicycles now in existence, I cannot be the first one with this conflict.

The picture shows at least the third iteration of clamp placement. I moved it one more time after this, reversing direction and rotating the clamp 90 degrees so it sticks out sideways so my upper thigh is in contact with it, and even at that, I have a bungee holding the thing so it doesn’t flop around.

How does anyone else do this?


Drewbacca

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Jun 22 2013 at 2:03pm #

Depending on which bike I’m riding, my preferred method is to run the u-lock on top of my cables/under the handlebar/ with the lock portion resting on top of my stem. Whether or not that method works depends on stem size/angle and cable set up.


jonawebb

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Jun 22 2013 at 3:28pm #

You can probably fit the u lock mount to your rear rack somehow.


cburch

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Jun 22 2013 at 5:13pm #

I prefer to carry the ulock on my person. Usually either in a back pocket if they’re deep enough or through my belt.


salty

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Jun 22 2013 at 5:16pm #

Stu, that’s exactly why I’ve never used one of those mounts, as convenient as it seems. My lock is usually in my bag, if I’m travelling light I either lock it through the rack and bungie it in place or just stick it in my back pocket.

You could try putting the mount on the seat tube and have the lock outside the triangle, near the rear wheel – there might be a way to arrange that so it’s not in the way.


salty

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Jun 22 2013 at 5:20pm #

BTW, this reminds me, I just saw an ad for this thing: http://abus-bordo.com/index_en.html

Really pricey ($100-150 depending on model), and I wonder how secure it is compared to a U-lock…. but certainly small when folded up.


Ahlir

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Jun 22 2013 at 5:38pm #

Stu: I notice that you also have a water-bottle mount on the seat tube. Maybe putting the bottle there would create enough triangle space for the U-lock. Hard to tell though.

I think my own solution turned out to be to carry the lock in a pannier. (And if you stick your water in there as well you can start packing those 1-litre bottles which really come in handy on days like today…)

Water bottle side comment:
It looks way cool when some spandex guy glides by squirting water into his mouth. But unless you’re in the middle of some race or training really  hard, why not just stop, unscrew the top and have a decent, civilized drink. Ahhh, doesn’t that feel better?


HiddenVariable

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Jun 22 2013 at 7:05pm #

i attach my u-lock to the seat tube, with the clamp facing my left pedal and the lock itself with the bar vertical and the u pointing forward. my thigh doesn’t come close to it.

if your mount sticks out too far, or if it doesn’t allow you to mount the u-lock properly when oriented in this way, or if the clamping mechanism allows the lock to turn too freely (so that it might hit you while bouncing around), i would find a different mount, or lock it in my rack. prior to buying this lock, i locked the u-lock into my rack so that the bar was on top of the rack with the u pointing downward, and outside one of the supporting arms on the rack. i’ll try to take a picture of what i mean, if that doesn’t make sense. it’s possible, though seemingly unlikely, that your rack won’t allow the lock to be mounted this way, but if it does, once you get used to it, it’s a breeze to mount and unmount (though not as easy as my current lock).

also, when mounted with the u pointing downward, the lock can tell you to replace it by falling off when you’re riding on rough roads…


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 22 2013 at 8:11pm #

@HV – Hmm, I hadn’t thought about the rough roads issue. Having just dropped $30 for the thing, I am not planning to lose it anytime soon.

@jonawebb – I’d love to mount it to the rear rack, but I don’t have the correct brackets.

@ahlir – I had been carrying it in the pannier when I didn’t have it bungeed to the rack. Problem with that is, I don’t always use the pannier. And that, more often than not, is filled with a laptop PC and carrying case. I can get the lock in there, but it’s a pain.

@salty – Your old lock continues to exist. It more/less lives permanently hooked to the rack in the Forbes/Cherry/4thAv garage, so I can use that as a backup in case I forget (the key to) the new lock.

If anyone else is downtown and needs a lock in a hurry, text me and I’ll meet you over there in 5 minutes.

I’m going to try what I came up with for a week and see how much of a bother it is. A 100-yard loop up to the neighbor’s driveway isn’t much of a test.

Thanks all, for the suggestions!


Ben

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Jun 22 2013 at 9:53pm #

Hi Stu,

Not sure if this helps, but…

I secure my u-lock to the top tube and seat tube using a product called Lock Block by TwoFish. The fat cylinder part of the u-lock gets attached to the top tube and then to prevent the lock from swinging from side to side, I secure the bottom portion of the “U” along the seat tube. Check out the illustrations on their website:

http://www.twofish.biz/bike.html

While the illustrations only show one in use, I prefer to use two of the lock blocks. After messing around with different mounting positions, I found that two Lock Blocks kept the lock more secure on the frame and resulted in a lot less rattling compared to the stock mounts that come with most u-locks (actually, the only rattling is from the lock itself and not the mounting brackets).

Only downside is if you use a really large diameter lock, or have hefty legs, or pedal with extreme toes/knees in, you might experience some rubbing against either the lock cylinder and/or top Lock Block with your thighs. It took me a couple days to get used to putting the lock into the setup and taking it out, but I can now do it in less than a minute.

Also, it’s worth noting that I’ve never come across any local bike shops carrying these Lock Blocks and have yet to see anyone else in Pittsburgh mount their lock this same way.

Sorry I don’t have any pictures of my setup, but if you’re interested, you can PM with your email address and I’ll send you a couple pictures.

-Ben


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 22 2013 at 9:57pm #

Thanks @Ben. That Cyclopblock strap/holder looks like a good Plan B, too.


Mikhail

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Jun 22 2013 at 10:13pm #

Stu, you can mount bottle cage to your handle bar:

http://www.topeak.com/products/bottle-cages/cagemount

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bike-Bicycle-Cycling-Metal-Durable-Water-Bottle-Cage-Handlebar-Bar-Adapter-Tool-/330617172675

http://bikepakmart.com/ib-q1.html?gclid=CJa_i9ia-bcCFUmY4AodEloA0w

http://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Handlebar-Mount-Bottle-Cage/dp/B000AP0ABO

http://store.trekbikes.com/product/bontrager+handlebar+bottle+cage+clamp.do?&utm_source=upload&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=GBASE&gclid=CJvF2taa-bcCFVGi4AodlREAlQ


gg

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Jun 22 2013 at 11:26pm #

Water bottles are easy to move as been stated. I have one on my handlebar and there is another option behind your saddle. That is what I would do.


Steven

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Jun 23 2013 at 12:44am #

Here’s my setup. I grab my water bottle with my right hand so the lock doesn’t get in my way, and the thin part of the lock is narrow enough that it doesn’t hit my leg whenever the lock mount’s clamp is closed.

(I inverted the photo because my bike is upside down awaiting new rim tape. My couch is not actually mounted to my hardwood ceiling, as you might otherwise assume.)


Benzo

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Jun 23 2013 at 7:44am #

One thing I do on my bike with a rack is that I put the u-lock through the back seat rails, the flat section hangs down and is bungied to the back of the rack. No rattling. Doesn’t hit my legs, I can access 2 bottles without issue.


HiddenVariable

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Jun 23 2013 at 1:44pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:@HV – Hmm, I hadn’t thought about the rough roads issue. Having just dropped $30 for the thing, I am not planning to lose it anytime soon.

i didn’t actually lose the lock. a u-lock makes a pretty loud and distinctive sound when it hits asphalt. instead, i bought a new lock because it was clear that this one was no longer secure.


paulheckbert

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Jun 23 2013 at 5:11pm #

Kryptonite on seat tube,
water bottle on down tube,
frame pump just under top tube.
It all barely fits. But sometimes I’m jealous of my friends who have space for two bottle racks in that triangle … then they ask me if I can lock their bike for them.


HiddenVariable

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Jun 23 2013 at 10:52pm #

this is what i was talking about in my first post, by the way:


Mick

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:11am #

Ahlir wrote:But unless you’re in the middle of some race or training really hard, why not just stop, unscrew the top and have a decent, civilized drink. Ahhh, doesn’t that feel better?

YEAH, DUDE!

For the U-lock, the braket for my current ulock doesn’t seem to have a way to fit it on the frame without my leg banging it when I pedal. It’s also hard to remove rapidly from the bracket (in case I feel the need demonstrate proper locking technique to misguided youths or to road-raged motorists.)

So I bungee my lock to my front rack in way that is secure and allows me rapid access to it.

I love HV’s method of fastening it to a his rear rack. I used to have a rack where the U would just slide in and out, but the crossbar would not. It was the best.

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